Finally Alone

When I divorced my first husband in 1961, we had been married about 3 1/2 years. I went to Mexico to get a quick divorce. But before i went, it seems that my ex was traveling with his new girlfriend in California. I decided to go there too. Everyone thought it was to see him, but it wasn’t. I went because I always admired the fact that my ex travelled a lot and I really hadn’t. I needed to do something on my own so I decided I would go to San Francisco.

When I first got there, I called an old friend of mine I knew from the city. He owned the Fillmore East and West Theatres. He said come and stay with me! So I did for a week but then suddenly realized we were attracted to each other. He was French, what can I say!   I was seeing someone back home and didn’t want to get involved. So I left.

I rented a room in a hotel. It was more like a boarding house and it was mostly filled with older single men.  But it was right in the middle of everything happening in San Francisco. Every morning I would wake up nervous about going out alone. So I would paint until about noon and then clean up and go out to walk around.

One time this guy approached me. We had lunch, dinner, sex and the next day we went on a drive along the coast. What can I say, it was the 60’s! But I didn’t really like him so I decided not to see him again. But when he dropped me off I walked into the lobby of the building and all of the men staying there were waiting for me! Turns out the were worried because they didn’t see me come home! It was actually very sweet. It was like having 10 or 15 fathers.

One day I looked up an old friend from NYC. Her name was Doris. She suggested we go walk around. Well, San Francisco was very hilly so the walk was short. But we decided to eat instead. Doris was my eating friend. When I was with Doris we ate. SO that day we had Chinese food for lunch. Then we had Chinese food for dinner.  I love Chinese food. The first solid food I ate as a child was an egg roll. My parents usually used Chinese food to bribe me too. It always worked. That day, Doris and I didn’t have snacks because we were eating so much Chinese food.

I didn’t do a lot of touristy things during my trip. That guy I spent some time with in the beginning of my trip tried to come see me again, but got into an accident on his motorcycle on the Golden Gate Bridge. But, I mostly wanted to experience being in an unfamiliar city all by myself, and that’s what I did. I experienced being nervous about doing something but surviving it. And I also had a really good time and found out I was stronger than I thought.

At the end of the trip one of my 15 fathers from the boarding house took me to the airport in a taxi to make sure I got there safely. I was very touched by that.


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